Coach of the Decade Readies for Kentucky

The Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer has clearly made an impression in college football in just his first decade as a head coach. Meyer was named college football coach of the decade by Sporting News. Going 83-17 with two national championships and a Fiesta Bowl victory coaching Utah is quite the resume. Honored by the recognition, he knows there's still time in this decade to improve.

If Urban Meyer is to improve the impression he makes on the college football world this season, he will need to beat Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington.

"My wife just told me (about the award), and I looked at her and said ‘What are you talking about? We are playing Kentucky in two days, and first of all, the decade's not over,'" Meyer said.

He expects his team to be ready for Kentucky despite coming off an emotional game against Tennessee.

The talent of the Wildcats has been what kept the Gators from letting their guards down.

"It's a very quality opponent, and it's a team that in my opinion will be right there at one, two or three in the SEC East," Meyer said. "I think they are that good, and it's on the road."

He is excited to get away from the craziness of Gainesville and get some peace on the road with his team.

"We love playing at home, but the fact that there are so many people, you get on plane and it's just a small group," he said.

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LB Brandon Spikes and WR Deonte Thompson again participated in practice but were limited. "They weren't full speed today, but we are going to let them go again tomorrow," Meyer said.

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S Major Wright and CB Joe Haden join the list of people who missed practice due to illness. Meyer expects both to be ready for Saturday's game. He addressed Haden's case directly. "Haden don't go, I'm not going," Meyer said. If for some reason, Haden does get worse, he said either Markihe Anderson or CB Wondy Pierre-Louis will start in his spot.

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Starting LB A.J. Jones did return to practice after missing time do to flu-like symptoms.

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WR Riley Cooper who was slowed by a pinch nerve in neck will be ready to go, but they were cautious of it this week in practice. "They did not hit him this week," Meyer said.

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With the lingering injuries of Cooper and Thompson, Meyer needs some of his back up receivers to be ready to play at Kentucky. "All three of them (Omarius Hines, Frankis Hammond Jr. and T.J. Lawrence) have had their best week of practice. They all took great strides, and I anticipate they will all play this week," Meyer said. "They have to."

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LB Brendan Beal is getting close to being able to play. He has been kept out by a neck injury and an elbow injury. "He had a disc injury in his neck and that one is almost healed, and now, there is some nerve damage in his elbow that they are going to update me on Monday," Meyer said.

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